David had fled to the land of the Philistines as recorded in 1 Samuel 27:1, because King Saul of Israel hated him and had sought to kill him many times. David said in his heart that one day he would perish at the hand of Saul, so he fled to Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Goth, a territory of the Philistines. David found grace in the eyes of Achish, who gave David the city of Ziklag to live in with his men and their families.
While David and his six hundred men had gone with Achish to fight Israel, the Amalekites came to Ziklag and burned the city and took all the women and children away. David was sent home to Ziklag from the war because the lords of the Philistines did not trust David to fight against his own countrymen.
When David and his men returned to Ziklag, they saw what had happened and they were greatly distressed. The men spoke of stoning David, for their souls were grieved for the loss of their families. “But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6d).
David was faced with a grave decision. Do I run? Do I stand and fight? What do I do now? David’s behavior, his actions in this test, are loaded with keys to success in obtaining victory when faced with a situation in which what to do is nowhere in sight.
1) First, David encouraged himself in the Lord. That is, David knew whom he had believed in; he knew Jehovah was his God; he knew God loved him and had anointed him to be king of Israel one day. He knew that His Promises were sure and certain; that God would never leave him nor forsake him. He knew his God would supply his needs. Psalm 56:1-4 says:
Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. (2) Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. (3) What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Here we see David first confessed his trust in God, and thus he would not fear what flesh could do unto him. The first key to success is to remember who God is and your relationship as a son of God by spiritual birth.
2) Second, David called the priest, Abiathar, to bring the ephod to him (1 Samuel 30:7-8). David inquired at the Lord and asked for wisdom whether to pursue the Amalekites or not. Not only must you believe God is; that He can do all things and has all power in heaven and on earth; that all of His Promises are sure and certain; and to look back and see what God has done in your life; but also you must inquire of God for wisdom. (James 1:5) “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (See Hebrews 4:16.)
Therefore we are to seek God; in prayer, ask for wisdom. Be still and wait for His answer, which is the second key to success when you don’t know what to do.
3) Thirdly, you are to then follow God’s instructions. You are to proceed in faith. You are to pursue the enemy and overcome the enemy by the Word of God. In Philippians 4:13 Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” David followed God’s instructions; God assured him victory; and David followed through and recovered all that had been taken from him and more, much more.
Child of Grace, when tribulation comes; when the Valley of Baca (tears) comes; when you are faced with events in your life that you have no answer as to what to do; when you have no power to change anything. When you are helpless; when it looks as if all is lost; when you think God has forgotten you. Then be still and look to God. It is only a test to prove you; to see if you will keep His Commandment of “No;” to see if your faith is real and true. And for you to see that He is God and there is no other God but Him. Remember God loves you. His tests, His trials are not to destroy you, but to work patience in you, to mature you, to bring you to perfection (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5) that you might be entire, wanting nothing.
Encourage yourself that He is God; even your God. That He is your Father and the Supplier of all your needs. Seek God in prayer and then follow His instructions. It is only a test to prove you, to edify you, and to strengthen you in the most Holy Faith. Therefore, count it all for joy, for God is conforming you to His Image.
(This devotional was previously posted on September 13, 2010)